Civil Rights Under Trump | Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj | Netflix

These days, 
the president gets so much attention, it kind of makes you feel bad for his team
because you know what? They’re working really hard. We have a wonderful group of people. We have a great cabinet. There are those people that say
this is one of the best cabinets  this country has ever had.
I happen to agree. I do agree. If they’re so great,
we should give them more attention. Forget Voldemort. Let’s talk about
the Death Eaters surrounding him, because behind the scenes, they’re the ones 
quietly getting scary shit done. And the best example of this 
is civil rights. From the moment Trump took office, his cabinet has been systematically 
dismantling civil rights policies. And in case you were homeschooled 
by David Duke, civil rights laws are good. They’d make it illegal to discriminate based on sex, 
race or religion. In the 1950s and 1960s, civil rights laws essentially forced 
major government agencies to create internal offices dedicated 
to upholding civil rights in their departments. Agencies like 
Housing and Urban Development, Education, Health and Human Services,
and the Justice Department. But now, the heads of these departments 
are not only failing to stand up  for the people 
these laws were designed to protect, they’re using their power 
to target vulnerable communities. Take the Department of Justice. Now the DOJ sets the tone
for the rest of the administration, and we all know Jeff Sessions,
Trump’s first Attorney General. Four-term senator from Alabama 
and civil rights icon  for completely the wrong reasons. In 1986, he was rejected to be a federal judge after people testified 
that he was a racist. [man] Thomas Figures, a black, 
former assistant US Attorney in Alabama, testified sessions called him “boy” 
and joked about the Ku Klux Klan. He thought Klan members were “okay”
until he learned they smoke marijuana. So he’s cool with lynching as long 
as the nooses aren’t made with hemp. Former colleagues even testified 
that Sessions often use the n-word  or as Sessions calls it the “N-I-G-G–” He just says the word. He denied all of these allegations 
and insisted…  I am not a racist. I am not insensitive to Blacks. I have supported civil rights activity 
in my state. This clip is remarkable. 
Play it back again and watch this woman in the back. I have never seen racism 
give someone whiplash before. It was like prejudice 
at a hundred miles per hour. Look! When it comes to upholding civil rights,
Jeff Sessions just isn’t your guy. It’s like hiring Ryan Adams
to DJ a quinceañera. It makes no sense given what we know. Now, even though Sessions 
was forced to resign last year, don’t forget he made a ton
of legacy moves. The Justice Department is now backing
Ohio’s method for purging voter rolls, a reversal from the Obama Administration. But civil liberties groups say the process 
unfairly blocks eligible voters. [woman] The Texas congressman suing 
the state over its strict voter ID law can no longer count 
the Department of Justice as a major ally in the case. Not only did he order
the Justice Department  to back out of key voting rights cases, he essentially stopped enforcing 
voting rights altogether. Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act  outlaws racial discrimination 
at the polls. Past Departments of Justice have filed 
numerous suits to enforce Section 2, but the Sessions DOJ never filed 
a single suit to enforce it. Zero. I mean, come on. This is America. Racism is as integral to voting 
as stickers. But neglecting voting rights 
was just the start for Sessions. The Trump Justice Department appears 
to be taking a hands-off approach to police reform, a major shift 
compared to actions under the Obama Administration. Sessions said he’s reviewing 
the binding agreements, called consent decrees, the agency uses 
to force police in Ferguson, Baltimore, and elsewhere to reform their practices. We can all agree a lot 
of police departments do a good job. But in cases 
where there is systemic abuse, consent decrees are a powerful tool
the DOJ uses to step in and stop it. After the killings 
of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Michael Brown in Ferguson 
and Laquan McDonald in Chicago, all of those cities 
and many others across the country agreed to consent decrees, 
but Sessions heard the word “consent” and he’s like, “Not on my watch.” When the Trump Administration began, 
then Attorney General Sessions ordered a review
of all the consent decrees that the DOJ had entered into 
with law enforcement around the country, and as Sessions packed up his office,
he signed a memorandum adding three new requirements
to any future consent decrees. Jeff Sessions made it harder
to use consent decrees as he was packing up his office. 
That was on his to-do list? Like, what was his last day like? Like, “All right, man.
I gotta pack up my stuff, turn in my key card.
What am I forgetting? Oh, yeah. I got to make it easier for 
rogue police officers to plant evidence, engage in cover-ups 
and pistol-whip people.” Now, regardless of how you feel, a police force accountable to no one
is only good for minorities if you’re Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. Look, if you haven’t seen Bad Boys,
do yourself a favor, take nine hours and watch it on TNT. It’s pretty incredible. Between voting rights and consent decrees,
Sessions deployed a key tactic the Trump Administration uses 
to undermine civil rights. It’s something policy experts call
“not doing shit.” Not doing shit is a constant theme
because not enforcing civil rights is the same thing
as not having civil rights laws at all. You can see this across departments. Ben Carson is the king
of “not doing shit.” He’s the Secretary of Housing 
and Urban Development, which oversees 4.6 million households
that receive rental assistance. Now look, we all know Ben Carson’s deal. He’s like your uncle 
who never got married and then filled that emptiness 
with insane theories. Poverty, to a large extent, is also a state of mind. The likelihood of Hitler being able 
to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished 
if the people had been armed. A lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight,
and when they come out, they’re gay. Did something happen 
while they were in there? Ask yourself that question. What the fuck? What is Ben Carson’s logic? “Look, I’ve seen a bunch of babies 
come out of women, but I’ve never seen one go in.
What happened in there? Ask yourself that question. No, listen. Hey, hey. Listen. I’m on CNN. When you go to sleep,
it’s dark outside, but when you wake up,
it’s light outside, so… Did something happen out there?
Ask yourself that question.” I get why we all love making fun
of Ben Carson. He’s slow, he’s sleepy. He’s like the sloth from Zootopia, 
but we can’t let that distract us from the fact that Carson is doing
real damage to real lives.  That’s not funny. Just like the sloth wouldn’t be funny 
if you found out Jussie Smollett recently Venmoed him. [audience groans] You know what? We had a graphic 
of Jussie Smollett getting attacked by the sloth from Zootopia,
and we cut it, and I’m glad we did 
’cause that groan was very indicating of the previous joke. Now, as HUD secretary, 
a big part of Carson’s job is enforcing the Fair Housing Act,
which outlaws discrimination against anyone buying or renting a home. But Carson has dialed back 
investigations, rolled back Obama-era 
anti-segregation rules  and the most astonishing thing is this.
In his two years at HUD,  Carson has used his power 
to launch investigations into housing discrimination
a total of one time. To put that in perspective, Ben Carson launched an investigation 
looking into housing discrimination the same number of times he tried
to stab his friend Bob. You’re the only one that knows this. So please Google it. Carson’s policies are doing real damage. [woman] The current administration is 
slowly chipping away at laws intended to promote equal opportunity
when it comes to renting and owning homes. Housing advocates warned this policy 
is going to result in communities  basically failing to fight discrimination. It’s not just housing. The administration is also failing
to fight discrimination in schools, which have always been a flash point for racial discrimination 
in a place of historic progress. Think of Brown v. Board of Education,
right? School integration led the way for racial equality in so many parts 
of American life, but now we’ve entrusted that legacy 
of progress to Betsy DeVos. Just look at how she connects 
with her fans, you guys. I’ve been on the job now for some time,
and I came into office with a core belief. It is the inalienable rights 
and responsibilities of parents… I know what you’re wondering, but the answer is no, 
Spike Lee did not direct that. Yo, I love the cameraman for this one, where they’re like, “Look, Bob. 
You got to stay tight.”  He’s like, 
“Fuck it, I’m cutting to a wide. I’ll deal with the repercussions later.” Under DeVos, the Department of Ed has put a halt on 
1,200 civil rights probes started under Obama. One story that illustrates the harm
of revoking these policies is the case of Trah’Vaeziah Jackson. [woman] Trah’Vaeziah Jackson got hot glue on a classmate’s arm 
during a school project. Although the injured student’s family
chose not to press charges, Trah’Vaeziah was arrested. Juvenile hall staff patted her down,
cut off her hair extensions  and locked her up for three days. She served six more days of suspension,
then 12 days in an alternative school. And she’s only 13 years old. For years, the Department of Education 
has been investigating Trah’Vaeziah’s school district 
for punishing black students way harder than white students. 
Under DeVos, that case was closed, along with 65 other investigations, 
many of which were trying to combat racial disparities in school discipline. Trah’Vaeziah Jackson’s case is not
an isolated incident. Black students are 15.5% 
of public school students, but account for nearly 40% of suspensions. The Obama Administration put guidelines 
in place because kids who were suspended and expelled 
were less likely to graduate. Those are the facts,
and here’s what Betsy DeVos did with them. You still haven’t talked about the issue
in public schools as it relates to black  and brown students
and the high disparity rates  as it relates to suspensions 
and expulsions. I’m very proud of the record 
of the Office for Civil Rights in continuing to address issues
that arise to that level. But you’re taking away a million dollars
from the Office of Civil Rights. The team and the Office for Civil Rights
is doing an amazing job. They’re able to do more with less. Betsy’s like, “Look, we’re just embracing 
minimalism like Marie Kondo. Civil rights,
it’s not sparking joy for me.” These cuts are about rolling back 
civil rights enforcement. It’s part of a second tactic 
that the administration employs in their assault on civil rights. 
Undoing shit. They love undoing shit,
especially Obama civil rights shit. Just look at the Federal Commission 
on School Safety. After the Parkland school shooting,
Betsy DeVos was put in charge of this commission to investigate ways
to keep students safe at school. Pretty straightforward. Will your commission look 
at the role of firearms as it relates to gun violence
in our schools? That is not part 
of the commission’s charge per se. So you’re studying gun violence,
but not concerning the role of guns? We’re actually studying school safety and how we can ensure our students 
are safe at school. When that school safety report came out, it said next to nothing
about keeping guns out of school. How do you investigate a school shooting
without talking about guns? That’s like investigating 9-11
and not bringing up the date. They’re like, “Look, there was this event,
it was in the fall. I can’t tell you what month it was but… some traumatic stuff happened.” The report said one of the ways 
to make school safer was to end Obama-era policies
on school discipline. So the Department of Education
somehow managed to use a school shooting to come up with a policy 
that hurts black and brown kids. The leaps she’s making here 
are incredible. She went 
from “school shootings have to stop,” to “guns aren’t the problem,”
to “school discipline is the problem,” to “let’s punish brown kids
in school more.” Even James Harden 
would call traveling on that. Now look, a lot of the Death Eaters
I’ve talked about are characters you know, but there is one 
you have probably never heard of. Hello, my name is Roger Severino, and I am the Director 
of the Office for Civil Rights at the US Department of Health
and Human Services. I know Roger Severino 
looks like he’s constantly hanging out in the tarantula section of PetSmart. But he is very important. Remember how we said each agency
has its own civil rights division? Severino is the guy who heads up
the civil rights division for HHS, a $90 billion agency responsible for 
protecting the health of all Americans, which means everything 
from checking food and drug safety to regulating health insurance markets, but Severino seems 
to have a singular focus. There are now 
60 different gender identities. It’s hard to judge 
where some laws are going to be drawn. Different school districts
are addressing it in different ways. They should be free to address it 
at the local level. However, we don’t need a federal rule
saying that boys must be allowed in the girls locker room. Since becoming 
head of civil rights at HHS, Severino’s been pushing an agenda that discriminates against trans people, which isn’t unusual
in the Trump Administration. And in case you don’t know, here’s their rough logic. Today, you feel like a woman, even though everything about you
genetically says that you’re a man or vice versa. Wouldn’t that be the same as if 
you woke up tomorrow morning after seeing a movie about Afghanistan 
or reading some books, and you say, “You know what? 
I’m Afghanistan.” -[audience laughing]
-Don’t laugh at Ben Carson. He was ruined by American politics. Technically, he is Afghanistan. Under the guise of civil rights, Severino is trying to deny an entire group
of people legal protection, which is insane. But it’s not insane if you’ve been 
to his office. Apparently, the only two decorations 
in his office or a crucifix, and I swear I am not making this up, a Clarence Thomas bobblehead. Severino has definitely kissed 
that bobblehead on the mouth. No photos of his family. It’s just Roger and Clarence
straight-up mouth kissing. Under federal law, it is illegal
to restrict access to health care based on gender identity, but Severino thinks that
that threatens religious freedom. So he’s figured out a way 
to allow health care providers to legally discriminate. [man] The Department of Health 
and Human Services announced the creation of the Conscience
and Religious Freedom Division within his Office of Civil Rights. We see that health care is the next area
where the issues of conscience and issues of life and death 
are coming to the fore. [man] The new division at HHS 
will make it easier for doctors, nurses and other health providers to opt out 
of services that violate their moral or religious beliefs. So, if you’re a doctor 
who doesn’t like trans people or gay people
or a woman’s right to choose, you don’t have to do anything 
that violates your religious beliefs, even if someone’s life depends on it. I cannot believe that you get this moral out even though
what you’re doing is completely immoral. And it’s all happening with the support
of a massive government agency. This gets at the third and final tactic the administration uses
to ruin civil rights. Doing awful shit. Denying someone care is objectively awful, but according to the Trump Administration,
it’s a civil right. They have set up a new agency to discriminate against LGBT people
and women. This is about pediatricians refusing to treat children 
because they have gay parents. This is about transgender people 
being turned away from emergency rooms  and doctors offices. By cherry picking which civil rights 
they’re enforcing  and which ones they’re not, they are redefining 
who is a protected class in America. Everything we’ve talked about tonight 
raises one question. Who counts in America? This isn’t just a metaphorical question,
I’m not high. It’s about to be a very literal one. The 2020 Census 
is creating some controversy. The Trump Administration wants to include
a question about citizenship status. [woman] Nineteen states
and the District of Columbia plan to sue to block the question. Opponents say it will discourage 
immigrants from filling out the census. How did you make something 
as boring as the census racist? Honestly, props to them.
They can make anything racist. I bet they’re in a lab right now
figuring out how to make stamps offensive. Oh, come on, man. 
Just don’t put the Confederate Flag next to Neil Armstrong.
Don’t do him like that. Now, I know it doesn’t seem like it,
but the 2020 Census is one of the most important civil rights issues
of our time. Everything we’ve talked about tonight,
equal opportunity, equal access,  equal treatment is affected by the census. The Constitution says
to count every single person in America, citizen or not. Men, women, children, OJ Simpson. Yes. Even OJ Simpson counts. The census is important 
because it determines  how nearly $700 billion is distributed
to states. That’s money for roads, schools,
housing, health care. You know, everything Paul Ryan thinks
about so he doesn’t come too fast. The census… He really focuses. He’s like, 
“Come on, Urban Development.” The census also determines apportionment. That’s the number of seats in the House 
of Representatives that each state gets. The problem is that historically minorities have been under-counted
by a lot. That means they get less money 
and less political representation, and the citizenship question 
will only make that worse. We know from all the available evidence that redistricting 
on the basis of citizens and not persons 
will dramatically shift power away from urban communities,
away for minorities  and toward white rural voters. The bottom line is if you live somewhere,
like a city with undocumented people or with immigrants
and they don’t get counted, your community gets less money 
and less political representation. And that is exactly what 
the Trump Administration is hoping for. This is a power grab plain and simple,
and the person put in charge of the census is Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who definitely looks like the old guy 
who refuses to use a towel in the YMCA locker room. He just looks like that dude. You’re like, “Cover it up.” 
And he’s like, “Fuck it, man. It is what it is.” He’s also obsessed with money. [woman] Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross
was snapped wearing velvet opera slippers with the Commerce Department’s insignia  
on them. Custom-made ones like this cost upwards
of $500. “He spent $500 on velvet slippers” 
is something you read  in a rapper’s bankruptcy filing. Say what you want about Wilbur Ross, but he does get noticed. White House Press Secretary
Sarah Huckabee Sanders pushed back yesterday on a report
the president has lost faith in Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross partly because he, quote,
“keeps falling asleep in meetings.” [woman] See the guy highlighted? 
That is 79-year-old Wilbur Ross caught napping during the president’s 
big speech in Saudi Arabia. Come on, man. 
He’s already got the slippers. Just give him PJs and a sleepy cap, okay? Let grandpa go to bed. He’s tired. Wilbur Ross tried to cook the books
of the census, and he did it 
in the most incompetent way imaginable. In 2018, when Congress found out that
the Trump Administration wanted to add a citizenship question to the census,
it demanded answers. Can you tell me whether 
the Department of Commerce plans to include the citizenship question
in the 2020 Census? The Department of Justice, as you know, initiated the request for inclusion 
of the citizenship question. Keep in mind, he says the request came
from the Department of Justice, but it came out that in 2017, in an email, he asked an aide,
“Why nothing has been done in response to my request
that we include a citizenship question.” He might as well have written, “Wendy, what’s the status report
on the crimes I’m committing?” He lied to Congress 
because he needed a legit reason to ask the citizenship question. So he told them it didn’t come from him.
It came from the Department of Justice. Now, I get that strategy.
We all do this at work. You divert blame, you do that at the bank. Hundred percent. You work in banking. You know how shady shit works. But here’s where Wilbur Ross
really shit his opera slippers. He said the reason 
the DOJ wanted the question was so they could uphold Section 2
of the Voting Rights Act. Remember Section 2
of the Voting Rights Act?  That ensures 
there is no voting discrimination. The thing Jeff Sessions 
has enforced zero times. All of a sudden, the Trump Administration
now cares about it. That’d be like if Elon Musk admitted, 
“I made some promises I couldn’t keep.” You would know something would be up. And something is definitely up 
with the census. This lawsuit 
and the documents have been released as part of it have shown that 
the Trump Administration officials, including Commerce Secretary 
Wilbur Ross… -[man] Who oversees the census, yeah.
-Exactly. …he was looking at documents, 
articles and discussing not about the Voting Rights Act
in the earliest document released. He was discussing apportionment. The citizenship question was never about
enforcing the Voting Rights Act or even about finding out 
who is and isn’t a citizen. It was always about scaring immigrants so Republicans can shift political power
in federal dollars to their voters. The Supreme Court has agreed
to hear the case in April  and will rule on it in June,
and if the administration wins,  they could skew the electoral map
for the next ten years. Do you know how long ten years is? That’s how long Modern Family has been on. Manny was a little kid 
during the last census. Yeah, it’s adorable, but by the next census, he’s gonna be 
a washed-up SoundCloud rapper with face tats.  We are living through a dangerous time
for civil rights in this country. Think of all the institutions 
that are under assault  that we’ve talked about 
and all the lives that it will affect. Whether it’s the Justice Department
or Housing or Education or Health and Human Services,
it all comes together with the census. We clearly see that lives 
are being manipulated for political gain. The tactics the administration uses 
to a erode civil rights are simple. Not doing shit, undoing shit and doing awful shit. This is their Holy Trinity. They know exactly what they’re doing,
they’re not stupid. Except for Wilbur Ross,
he’s a complete idiot. Remember, Trump’s Death Eaters
are constantly working behind the scenes, and as always, 
the most vulnerable Americans will be the ones who suffer the most.

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